POEMS

The Gifts of Old Age

November 10, 2015

Living to a ripe old age is a gift.

The learning goes on

The sharing of one’s self continues

With little concern about what others might think

There is more freedom to be oneself.

With no fear of the death of the body

There is inner peace and serenity.

The best part about living longer

Is greater wisdom to be shared.

It’s also the joy of seeing young lives blossom

Like flowers in an ever-expanding circle of life and love.

Ode to Love

November 28, 2004

ODE TO …

 

It is the cheapest commodity.

It is freely available. It doesn’t cost a penny.

Everyone can give it away.

Those who receive it feel blessed by it and supremely happy.

It can be given to old and young, to men and women, during good times and bad ones.

It doesn’t depend on the state of the economy, nor is location an issue.

It is available to everyone, regardless of circumstances.

 

In spite of all this, it is in short supply.

People do not give it out freely.

Yet everyone needs it.

Everyone suffers from its lack.

It can take many forms and can be adapted to the giver, or to the receiver.

Still it is in short supply.

 

Why is everyone so stingy with it?

Why isn’t it the most widespread and freely given of all gifts?

It heals, it gives pleasure and happiness, it renews energy and brings peace and harmony.

The young thrive on it and the old live longer.

Both the giver and the receiver benefit.

 

It can take the form of good will toward all men

Or it can create deep bonds between beings attuned to each other.

Beings can vibrate in such harmony that they attain profound joy

And experience the oneness we all yearn for.

 

Why isn’t there more of it?

And what is it?

 

LOVE

Tristesse

Written the day before I was smuggled into Switzerland...  

 

Tristesse                                                            Sadness

 

Que je me sens drôle ces jours-ci                          How strange I feel these days.

Il me semble que je ne suis pas moi-même.            I don't feel like myself    

Le monde me parait si petit                                  The world seems so small

Et je sens comme c’est doux quand on s’aime.        And I feel how sweet it is lo love one another.

 

Oh oui, aimer,                                                      Oh yes, to love one another

Ne point connaître le vilain côté de ce monde,         Not to know the ugly side of this world    

Mais c’est trop rêver,                                            But that's too much of a dream

Et il faut songer â l’orage, la-bas, qui gronde,          And we must remember the storm that rages over there.

 

Il gronde, fort,                                                     It rages, loud

Il fait trembler la terre entière                               It makes the whole world tremble

Il ne ménage pas les morts                                   It causes so many deaths

Et sème partout tellement de misère.                     And sows so much misery everywhere.

 

Orage, orage, quand t’arrêteras-tu                         Storm, storm, when will you stop?

Afin que chaque homme sans crainte d’être pendu  So that each man without fear for his life

Puisse exprimer librement                                    Is free to express

Jusqu'à ses plus profonds sentiments.                    His innermost feelings.

 

Moi aussi je voudrais pouvoir exprimer                   I too would like to be able to express

Mes pensées en toute franchise                            My own thoughts in freedom,

Mais je me sens comprimée                                  But I feel compressed

Comme dans une cage, prise.                                As though trapped in a cage.

 

C’est alors que ces noires idées tourbillonnent        That's when those black thoughts swirl 

dans ma tête                                                       in my head

Et me dépriment pour toute la journée                   And depress me for the whole day,

Je deviens méchante comme une mauvaise bête      I become nasty like a mean beast

Sans vouloir le faire exprès.                                   Without meaning to do so.

 

Oh papier ! Je ne veux rien te cacher...                     Oh paper! I do not want to hide anything from you...

Comme seul confident tu sais si bien soulager.        For as the only confidant, you know how to provide relief.

 

(Clermont Ferrand, Le 22 mai 1944)

 

Liberté

Written on the very day I was successfully smuggled into Switzerland by the Sixieme along with a group of thirty teenagers.

 

Liberté                                                          Freedom                   

 

Mon rêve est réalité                                        My dream has come true

Nous voilà en liberté !                                     We are free!

                    

Plus de cache-cache,                                       No more hiding

Plus de mensonges,                                        No more lying

Plus de faux papiers,                                       No more false papers,

Plus rien qui me ronge.                                    Nothing to trouble me.

 

Je ne veux point penser au lendemain.               I do not want to think about tomorrow.

Pour aujourd’hui nous sommes tous réunis        For today we are all together

Et ici on ne nous veut que du bien.                    And here no one will harm us.

 

Est-ce vrai que je suis libre ?                             Is it true that I am free?

Il me semble que je suis ivre !                           I think that I am drunk!

Je me laisse aller à ce délice                              I let myself feel this delight

Car fini est le supplice                                      Because ended is the torture

De sans cesse jouer la comédie                         Of always pretending

Sans jamais montrer son ennui.                        Without ever showing my true feelings.

 

Mais désormais tout cela est fini                       But now all this is behind me.

Et j’aspire de nouveau aux douceurs de la vie.     And I yearn again for the sweetness of life.

 

Camp de Claparède, Suisse

Le 23 mai 1944.

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© 2019 by Edith M. Cord